Hunger (2009) – By Baron Craze

Steven Hentges as director explores in a horror direction of the Milgram Obedience Experiment, which offered a powerful, creative, and disturbing ability to have the endless authority to instill obedience and the power it has over others, using L.D. Goffigan screenplay for the basis of this experiment. This horror film provides a look into the study of man’s dark recess of the mind and not as a standard torture-porn, slasher genre film, which allows the genre fans to look past the comparisons to SAW, and more to the devolution of the species to the primordial state. The title alone states that the bloodshed will flow steady, and how one deals with the emptiness of losing freedom, the hunger to escape, to feed, for love and safety, all will find themselves exposed to increasing levels through depravity.

Five strangers find themselves in a claustrophobic bunker, with unsureness and intense fear.  This situation allows the actors to truly flesh out their characters, and create a flow of actions with ideally improvised lines spoken. The actors facial expressions and body language also convey various degrees to the other actors and to the audience, from defiance to suspicion, and even fear, a borderline, and panic paranoid behaviors. The film, explores rather going for a quick killing, defining the area, the scope of resources, into a gruesome reality and the choices for the people involved in order to survive, similar The Book of Questions, which asked tough moral questions, Hentges’ movie finds itself in the same perplexing realm. Herein, water the only commodity aside from airflow, though seems if that to finds itself constrictive, therein the problem, no food. The lack of food, can drive most people to extremes, and that exactly occurs in the movie, no fruits or vegetables reduces proper thinking, and then add to it all food the strength vanishes, and limited air, and sips of water make for more struggling and uncooperative survivor rate. The captivity results in rough and gross decisions, the weed the herd of the weakest to the fittest, and others use their sexuality to result in their own survival. The two woman Anna and Jordan (Lea Kohl and Lori Heruing respectively) use their cunning to survive with the men, rather than a usage of force they each use their natural talents, for Anna her sexuality and Jordan her higher level thinking of a surgeon.  Julian Rojas (Alex) steals scenes, as he regresses to animal state, with only primal instincts remaining, and that seems to summarized and excite The scientist (Bjorn Johnson) who observes all through a series of cameras and microphones.

The screenplay provides many avenues to venture down; however a few plot holes remain, such as a romantic couple making-out nearby and hearing distress below them, and result to aid for help, results in dire consequences, but no further action, not from police, or anyone searching for their whereabouts. Next and a larger problem, the lack of wasting away of the characters, the most noted survival of no food, and sips of water comes from Mahatma Gandhi lasting for 21-days, and these characters go longer under more stress and feed the hunger in another manner, but the body mass, and clothing does not appear to change at all. One is not suggesting an actor starve themselves for a role in a low-budget horror film, unlike Tom Hanks for Philadelphia, or Christian Bale for The Machinist with a crash-dieting method, however a reduce eating schedule might have worked a tad better. This production reminds one of The Experiment (2001) not the one with Adrien Brody, the original, where the overlords watch the ‘subjects’ battle for survival as the dominant forces maintain control and force others into a more submissive posture.

Hunger slides away from SAW and Hostel films, and finds a psychological thriller avenue less explored in these films, and perhaps missing the point of biological study dealing the feeding frenzy, and aside from the physical demeanor missing, the movie makes one wonder about the real life incidents that occur with these extremes. This reason alone makes it a worthwhile indulgence to enjoy on ChillerTV in the evening, scary no, tasty yes and equally thought provoking.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1176252
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